MSG: Frederick AAR 1 December 2014
Game Developer Introduction: Having play tested this game for many weeks, the team and Developer agreed it was time to try an option; agreeing in advance to adjudicate the game as of the Attrition Phase of the 1759 Turn… although out of curiosity the usual 1759 Interphase was still fully executed.
Whether the option to play but three turns/ years of a potential six turn game should be an option within the main Rule Book or presented in the Play Book has yet to be determined.
However, for players with a limited amount of time, which is generally the case during a Metro Seattle Gamers weekday evening meeting; the three turn “short game” of The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble seems to well suited meet a need.
Having a copy of the game map before you as you read this exciting After-Action-Report should greatly enhance appreciation of the action. Enjoy!
Austria: Steve Graham (Imperial Camp)
Britain: Scott Taylor (Coalition Camp)
France: Jeff Marksz (Imperial Camp)
Prussia: Mike Snively (Coalition Camp)
Card Deal Awards: Britain declined to give a card to Prussia; France gave a card to Austria (and as you’ll read, quite the card it was!).
Britain opened the Impulses Phase of turn one by playing Colonial Reinforcements to place a regular SP in Albany. For the second game in a row, France played Saxony Defects. Using that card’s command points, one Sepoy SP was built in the India Port Key Duchy of Chandranagore and the Nawab 2 SP unit was moved there in reinforcement.
Prussian forces, a full 8SP Army under Frederick, marched upon Prague and the awaiting Austrian Army. The Prussians opted to not play a battle card; the Austrians played Frederick Sleeps, the French card award gift, and rolled a remarkable 6(!). This reduced the Prussian army to just 2 SP and Frederick, rolled one 6 and one 5. The Austrians, beginning an evening of mostly battlefield dice rolling fortune; rolled four 6s: eliminating Frederick and the participating Prussian SP. In accordance with the Frederick Sleeps Event, the six non-engaged SP’s retreated from the battle.
The Prussians spent their remaining two CP to bring Ferdinand and 3 SP to Pirna. In partial recompense for the very useful French gift, the Austrians played Spain Enters the Fray, moving the Naval Track two in France’s favor. This card's CPs were used to move Daun, his 3 SP and the 2 SP from Vienna to Iglau and flag Ratibor in Silesia for Austria.
The second round of impulses began with Britain playing Call Up the Reserves, adding 4 SP to their forces in Hanover. The French marched in Mysore, flagging East Carnatic and assaulting the British Fort in Ft St David, killing it. The British India Key Port of Madras was now under direct threat.
The Prussians, still smarting from the first Battle of Prague, played Army of the Main, providing an Army to a grateful French Player, and used the command points to move Ferdinand and a full army into Prague. This time the Prussians played Massed Field Guns, which they had drawn with their Turn Reserve Marker, and pushed the Austrians out of the Prague Fortress Duchy.
Austria continued its campaign in Silesia, assaulting and taking Niesse. When Daun’s forces advanced on Breslau, Schwerin’s Prussian Army intercepted from Schweidnitz and drove Daun back to Niesse. Left with a CP, the Austrians rolled to affect the Naval Track but were unsuccessful.
In an unusual event for us, the Russians played Recruit on the March to add 2 SP to Soubise’s French Army, which then used it to march on and take Wesel. The French then played Captured Supplies to draw cards and played one for 4 CP, advancing Soubise to Munster and de Broglie and his French Army to Erfurt. Developers Note: A Formation, per Rule 9.1, generally may not move twice during an Impulse expending CP’s. The Captured Supplies Event, however, compels the Power receiving it to play an Event awarded card immediately. The Event takes precedence over the usual rule.
The Imperials proved to have Extorted Loans and would use the resulting two card award over the turn to build up their forces.
Britain played Royal Largesse to give cards to itself and Prussia. Meanwhile, the French assaulted Madras. In a particularly ineffective display of dice-rolling prowess, the French rolled but one 5, while the British gained no results. However, that was enough to send the entire British force, which had nowhere to retreat, into the Honors of War Box and the French flagged Madras. The India Mysore area fell entirely under triumphant French control.
The Prussians took Prague (at last!). An Austrian Army returned to Breslau and established a siege but was unable to take that fortress. The Russians advanced from Grodno to Warsaw to gain that key.
The next card out of the British hand was Russia Fully Commits, after Russia exhausted its hand for the turn. The Imperial Camp would have to await the next turn to take advantage of additional Russian strength brought into the war.
On the Continent, the British Army of Observation under Cumberland advanced to unsuccessfully besiege Venlo. France bought a card for a resource. The Prussians surged back into action, pushing down the military highway to Vienna. Austrian die-rolling wasn’t good enough to win the battle, losing the engagement by but one casualty, but they inflicted 6 SP in losses to just 4 SP lost. This left the Prussian Leader Ferdinand all alone and vulnerable in Vienna, unable to besiege it. The French concluded the turn by taking Dresden.
The 1757 Interphase proved interesting. During Reinforcements, the Austrians built 4 SP in Vienna, triggering an immediate battle and killing Ferdinand. The British deliberately eliminated Clive in Bengal and rebuilt him in Europe while the French eliminated Nally, who led the victorious Mysore Campaign, and rebuilt him in Chandranagore. The British relocated their North American forces to Fort Carillon. Finally, Montcalm redeployed his Army to the Duchy of Ohio Forks, seeking a different approach to resolving the American issue. (50 minutes)
Britain and France both declined to give a card to an ally.
Prussia started the turn by expending their reserve to draw a card. It was Raise Natives, which they did to Britain’s benefit in North America. Austria played Extorted Loans and used one of the drawn cards to advance Daun’s Army against Schwerin at Schweidnitz.
The Prussians rolled well in the ensuing battle, gaining two 6s and two 5s. But the Austrians rolled even better, managing five 6s and three 5s (eight casualties!!!) to vaporize that entire Prussian army. After a couple of turns of sieging, the Austrians would take the Silesian Schweidnitz Fortress Key.
The British played Quiberon Bay to begin a naval renaissance. They used the card’s command points to move against the French army in Munster. The British play of Poor Recon allowed them to eliminate Soubise and his army, despite being outnumbered. The French began a turn-long effort to bring in Sweden as a Pact Ally, while Denmark eventually wound up in the Austrian Diplomatic Track.
Russia played Difficult Winter for the SP elimination effect in North America. The Russians would later stagger forward into East Prussia with a massive Army. Neutral Denmark revealed Britain Uses Convoys to further abet the British surge in the Oceans to even greater control.
France hurried the end of the turn by playing Drought for the effect, which had the benefit of allowing Austria to discard His Britannic Majesty’s Army: there would be no 4SP new British Army led by a 3-8 Leader being placed in Europe this turn (you can imagine the Coalition Players’ response to seeing that!).
British forces continued their offensive in Western Europe, moving to Roermond and starting a siege but were unable to take the fortress. The turn ended with Sweden entering for France as its Pact Ally. (60 minutes)
The British again declined to give a card, while the French corrected their error from the prior turn and gave a card to Russia.
Prussia played Denmark Enters the Fray for the effect, moving the Dane Diplomatic Track Marker 5 CPs towards Prussia achieving a Danish Pact Alliance. Austria continued their offensive in Silesia, taking Glogau.
The British played French Pay System Collapses, causing mass desertions in India (4 SP), some grumbling in North America (2 SP) and minor inconveniences in Europe (1 SP). The French cursed themselves for not playing Hand of God which was in their possession and would have, in hindsight, averted that catastrophe.
France attacked and took Kassel, which drew a Prussian army to Erfurt. This uncovered Saxony and the Austrians shot through the gap by aggressivley moving an Army north from Bautzen to Leipzig, which they promptly took, overrunning the Wittenberg fortress in passing.
Russia moved to Konigsberg to attack the reinforced Prussian army there. The Russians played 12-Pounders to no effect but rolled well, eliminating the Prussian army in a rout. The siege attempt was unsuccessful immediately but succeeded the next impulse.
The British and French exchanged ineffective blows in the west, with the French attempting to siege and recapture their Venlo Fortress and failing. French force from Kassel moved north to Hanover, defeating the British Army there but proving unable to take that fortress either.
Ferdinand and a Prussian army moved to Kassel, which the French failed to intercept. The subsequent Prussian siege was successful until the French played Fortress Sortie. Meanwhile, the Austrians began to run amuck in a largely undefended Prussia, taking Fortress Kustrin (adjacent to Berlin!).
In North America, the French finally marched Montcalm from the Ohio Forks to South Alleghany, where the British intercepted and drove Montcalm back. The Prussians were able to reflag Kunersdorf in Prussia and Luckau in Saxony, cutting off Austrian forces at Leipzig and Kustrin. Their play of Unrest also cut off the Russian forces at Konigsberg. However, this Coalition riposte would prove too little, too late.(60 minutes).
Game Conclusion: Austria and Britain spent cards on the Peace die roll but it was unsuccessful. Elizabeth survived the 1759 roll as well so had the game gone on Russia would persevere (curiosity fulfilled).
Game End – Imperial Camp 11VP, Coalition Camp -2VP
Austria: +3 keys, 2 resources, Imperial Pact Ally 13 TTP: Winner with 6VP (Developer’s Note: Steve’s stubborn refusal to trade in either of the two Resources Austria initially begins the game with was, along with excellent play, crucial to his individual victory.)
Britain: -2 keys, 1 resource, 1 Naval Track, 15 TTP, 6 Sepoy, 9 Colonials for Zero VP
France: +3 keys, 0 resources, Pact Russia & Sweden,17 TTP, 0 Sepoy, 0 Colonials :5VP
Prussia: -2 keys, 0 resources, 21 TTP -2VP
Russia (French Pact Ally): 6 keys, 9 TTP
Imperials (Austrian Pact Ally): 2 keys, 1 TTP
Sweden (French Pact Ally): 2 keys, 4 TTP
Naval Track: 8 (+1 Br VP) (A big British comeback from an initial set-back)
Nicely done, Fred!
I was already quite interested in this, and now even more so!
Am glad you liked this AAR. The one element impossible to share without making the AAR far too long and verbose is the amusing table talk between the players, particularly at some of the stranger turns the game took with dice and card selection luck.
This adds to the amount of time it takes to play a turn, in this experience about an hour each, but heck... isn't that a reason why we play games like this and find them so entertaining?
Gene Billingsley has an article describing the differences between THE SEVEN YEARS WAR: FREDERICK'S GAMBLE and THE NAPOLEONIC WARS in the queue for "InsideGMT" BLOG publication. This will hopefully add to readers appreciation and anticipation for this game's release.
Thanks for your interest and support!